Law Enforcement Officers Should Continue to Benefit from the Qualified Immunity Doctrine




Hill, Jarrett R.

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Qualified Immunity represents an importance balance. Qualified immunity provides protection for police officers, as well as other public officials, from civil lawsuits. It will allow police officers to do their jobs, as well as hold the bad actors accountable for their actions. Supporters of qualified immunity argue that law enforcement officers would be exposed to lawsuits and second guessed in the courts without this protection. On the other hand, opponents of qualified immunity argue law enforcement officers are free to violate the rights of citizens with impunity. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court refined the qualified immunity doctrine. Qualified immunity is not the result of any specific law passed by Congress. Qualified Immunity is an important doctrine that needs to exist to protect the officer and provide them the ability to do the job they have sworn to do. Officers are human and should be allowed room to make mistakes. Officers should not be afraid to do their jobs, fearing frivolous civil lawsuits or baseless legal actions when making split second decisions. Denying officers the benefit of Qualified Immunity could lead to their failure to act, cause them to leave the profession prematurely and can cause an increase in crime rates for the communities that need police the most. Law enforcement officers should continue to benefit from the qualified immunity doctrine.



Tort Liability of Police